User Review: Optimus Nova
Price Paid: $117
Purchased 1-3-2010. I've practiced using it to make sure it would work. The pump leather was a little too small. Would still pump but had flipped over backwards. I'd bought the spares kit
so I replaced it.
While using it here at home I scuffed the O- ring on the cable-pump connection (this stove has it on the male cable end). There was one extra with the stove and one in the spares kit (that I purchased separately). Now I have one left. SO THE O-RING MUST BE GREASED PLENTY EACH TIME IT'S CONNECTED. EVEN THEN YOU HAVE TO BE VERY CAREFUL WITH THE CONNECTION (have had the same issue with MSR stoves as well).
Katadyne USA has taken over customer service from A and H. I didn't send the stove back. Emailed Katadyne to get some extra O- rings and a pump leather on 1-12-10. Today (2-2-10) I checked back again and was informed it would be another 6 weeks minimum (I had offered to pay extra for a special order even though it is in warranty.) I find that long of a delay a bit hard to believe for a simple part as an o-ring. That is the reason for the 2 stars ( should it be 0 stars?) I'm baffled that a customer service department would operate that way.
The stove seems to work fine. If seems to work best turning it up a half turn quickly after the burner is lit. Have used it a half dozen times in the field with no problems. I would not take this on a lengthy trip without several extra o-rings for the cable-pump connection. This stove is still probably the best of it's breed which is why I decided to keep it. If you don't need the extra BTU's or the multifuel option stick with the Optimus SVEA 123R. They are pretty much trouble free and will still be my main stove.
If Katadyne gets their act together with spare parts, I could recommend the stove.
OTHERWISE, IT'S A DEAL BREAKER AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED.
Update: February 23, 2010
Optimus Nova Review (Update) (see previous review)
I decided to disassemble the on/off knob at the pump to inspect the o-ring, since I had previously found a defective pump leather and a "rough" cable pump connection. The o-ring was off the shaft (where it belongs ) and was in the bottom of the hole. It had not leaked as yet, but most certainly would have. Would assume it was not assembled correctly at the factory.
Was able to contact Optimus customer service in Switzerland (in early Feb. 2010) for o-rings for the cable pump connection and some o-rings for the on/off knob on the pump (NOTE: THE O-RING FOR THE ON/OFF KNOB AT THE PUMP IS NOT INCLUDED IN ANY OF THE SERVICE/SPARES KITS). The Representative emailed a "fix" for the rough cable/pump connection. Basically using a phillips screwdriver to ream a burr from the aluminum where the o-ring slides in. I did this and it worked well.
I received the o-rings 2-22-10. Optimus customer service USA contacted me today, 2-23-10, and said they were sending a new pump leather. I understood the cable /pump burr problem has been corrected at the factory and would hope the other assembly issues also. So I gave it 3 stars instead of the previous 2.
As far as recommending the stove I'm neutral. If you buy one I certainly would recommend a complete disassembly and inspect each o-ring and the pump leather. As stated before, if you don't need the extra BTU's or a kerosene burner stick with the Svea 123R. You don't need a maintenance kit for it ( for several years at least). It will simmer over 3 hours on 4.5 ounces of fuel. It works every time no matter what.